something i thought i'd share. i wrote this a couple years back...i remember distinctly that i was thinking about a recent(at the time) conversation with a non hunter on the topic of trophy hunting...and i was not very impressed with my performance in the defense of our great sport...i doubt now that i did too poorly, but i'm by nature a relatively quiet guy and not the best with the spoken word. especially when talking to illogical thinking people that have no concept of the immense good that trophy hunters do for our earths great game fields and the animals that inhabit them...so in other words i was kinda pissed with myself that i didnt have all these great reasons to give this person that they would consider "good reasons". i thought about it some more and got madder, and the conclusion was this little thing i wrote...and this...sometimes i just cant come up with a really good answer to stupid questions...and ya know what? i dont have to.
its not much but it was hangin out in my word perfect thingie and i thought i'd share.
Making No Apologies
Not long ago I was reading a popular predator hunting magazine and came across a catchy little hunter slogan that I really like. I’m not huge on bumpersticker slogans and don’t have them plastered all over my pickup…but I appreciate a witty phrase that says a lot, in a little space, just as much as the next guy with a sense of humor. This one went something like; “hunt hard, kill clean, make no apologies.” I dug that one big time, and have reffered back to it several times while thinking of hunting related topics lately.
I am a licensed Alaska professional hunter (guide) and spend upwards of six months out of the year sleeping on hard ground in a tent living my lifelong dream. I’m sure theres lots of reasons guys and gals all over the world are drawn to hunt in our overly liberal, generally non-hunting society. I don’t know what they all are, but I do know mine. I know that it’s not choice persay, but more of a drive that I for one, know I was born with. It was never really a choice…I’ve been a hunter at heart since my earliest memories and have had a enormous yearning for all aspects of the hunt since boyhood. My mother tells me at the age of nine years old, I came to her (after watching Jeremiah Johnson) and said “I‘m gonna grow up and be a hunter-man”. And so I suppose my migration from privately owned, extremely tame Texas to the vast wild public game fields of Alaska to pursue my dreams of becoming a professional hunter came as no big shocker to the folks who knew me.
That was five years ago. Since receiving my guides’ liscense from the state two arduous and frustrating (yet fascinating to a guy who grew up in flat land) years as a packer/apprentice, this will be my third year guiding my own clients for various outfitters throughout the state. Hunting has been such a drive in my life that I vowed from early on to find a way to make it my life’s work…hence my career choice.
I guess what I’m getting at is this…no matter what your reasons for hunting, no matter what draws you to it, make no apologies for being an ethical, meat eating, trophy aquiring hunter, make no apologies. Whether you can justify it to others or not…make no apologies. We are humans, the dominant hunters/predators of our world. At different times in our history believe it or not, we have NOT been the dominant predators, but with modern technology and the wonders of the human mind, the invention of gunpowder makes us the worlds top predators. In a society that belittles hunters and labels us with ridiculous stereotypes, remember, we have no reason to justify or apologize for what we do. Truth be told, for some of us, there is no specific reason. I hunt, because I’m drawn to hunt. As my ancestors where, as their ancestors were…I hunt because I was born a hunter, and I feel right doing it. It’s no shame that killing is involved. We that eat meat should have to kill it. It’s part of the process. There’s an emotional bond to an animal you have killed for whatever ethical reason, and this is part of the hunt. Hunting without killing is merely searching, and a waste of energy serving no purpose. Aldo Luepold once said something to the effect: "One does not hunt to kill, but one must kill to have hunted." To hunt, we provide. Whether it’s nourishment, a trophy to admire for years to come, experience, or the challenge. It’s important to our heritage, our environment, our phsyche and our soul…we’re hunters for better or worse, no apologies or explanations needed.